June 10, 2018

Hirono Honors Senator Akaka, Denounces Attacks on Native Hawaiian Community at 49th Annual Kamehameha Day Lei Draping

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) joined members of Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation and the Hawaii State Society to honor Senator Daniel K. Akaka during the 49th Annual Kamehameha Day Lei Draping in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

During her remarks, Senator Hirono paid tribute to Senator Akaka’s work in Congress on behalf of the Native Hawaiian community and denounced the ongoing attacks by Congressional Republicans on critical Native Hawaiian programs.

From Senator Hirono’s Remarks:

“Senator Akaka understood the obligation we all have to care for our fragile planet and the people who call it home. He brought this spirit with him to Washington, D.C. and used the power of his voice to be a champion for our environment and for Hawaii families.

“Senator Akaka’s accomplishments on behalf of the Native Hawaiian community are a testament to his strong, bipartisan relationships and his tireless work ethic. In his persistent advocacy, he was unfailingly kind. He even treated those who disagreed with him with aloha.

“In order to pass the Apology Resolution or secure another year of federal funding for Native Hawaiian programs, he had to overcome attacks from those in Congress who oppose any measure that includes the words ‘Native Hawaiian.’ Unfortunately, these forces are still hard at work here in Congress, and have been joined by many in the White House.

“Our Congressional Delegation is committed to carrying forward Senator Akaka’s work—despite these efforts to erase Native Hawaiians from the federal record.”